Exaggerator, who turned in an impressive performance in the October 3rd Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland to finish second after leading in the homestretch, emerged from the race in good shape but wasn’t at his peak in terms of fitness, suggesting that the talented two-year-old colt could show improvement in the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) later this month.
According to the Keeneland Barn Notes for October 4th, trainer Keith Desormeaux noted that Exaggerator had been ill after his victory in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) in August, and because of missed training, the colt wasn’t at his best for the Breeders’ Futurity.
“He looks good today. So far so good,” Keith Desormeaux said. “He has been here (at Keeneland) since the Saratoga Special and will stay here through the Breeders’ Cup.”
“I know he wasn’t 100 percent, so his effort was awesome,” he continued. “He got sick after Saratoga and I didn’t drill him that hard leading into the race, as you can probably tell from his works. He’s exciting.”
Making Exaggerator’s performance even more impressive was the fact that he spent the majority of the race running along the rail, which–due to the drying-out conditions of the track–seemed to be the slowest part of the track.
Fourth-place finisher Sticksstatelydude, who was right in contention throughout the race before tiring slightly in the final furlong, also came out of the race in relatively good shape. Said trainer Greg Burchell, “[Sticksstatelydude] came out of the race with a few scratches and we may still try to go to the Breeders’ Cup. If not, there is a stakes at Aqueduct the first of November and then the (Kentucky) Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill the end of November.”
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